Medical Assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.
Medical assistants typically do the following:
- Take patient history and measure vital signs.
- Help the physician with patient examinations
- Give patient injections as directed by the physician
- Schedule patient appointments
- Prepare blood for laboratory tests
Medical assistants need to learn the EHR software that their office uses and must take and record patients’ personal information. They must be able to keep that information confidential and discuss it only with other medical personnel who are involved in treating the patient.
In larger practices or hospitals, medical assistants may specialize in either administrative or clinical work.
Medical Assistants perform many administrative duties. Some assistants buy and store supplies and equipment for the office. They answer telephones, greet patients, update and file patient medical records, fill out insurance forms, handle correspondence, schedule appointments, arrange for hospital admission and laboratory services, and handle billing and book keeping.
Clinical medical assistants have different duties, depending on the state where they work. They may do basic laboratory tests, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. They might have additional responsibilities, such as instructing patients about medication or special diets, preparing patients for X-rays, removing stitches, drawing blood, or changing dressings. Medical assistant classes at Delta College aim to train students to be able to perform all these tasks and more.